Friday, February 08, 2008

The Economic Stimulus Package

First a little housecleaning:

1) If you participate in Ebay at all, please sign
this petition and join the boycott.

2) I was quite surprised when Mitt Romney stepped down. I see only marginal differences between McCain and Hillary and I will vote for Hillary if McCain takes the nomination. I am, by the way, a moderate Republican but I am liberal in areas McCain is conservative in, and conservative in areas he's liberal in. I feel no connection whatsoever with John McCain and am not one of those do-or-die party loyalists.
(I'm not mentioning Huckabee here because I don't think he has a chance. I would have voted for Romney in the Presidential elections, which might surprise some of you).

It's a Friday morning in February and the fog and gloom is outdoors and it seems to permeate the day.

Yesterday I dropped off a few business checks at the bank and stopped by a major outlet store where I often find good deals to sell on Ebay.

As I am a regular, I have made 'friends' with some of the employees there and we often chat about miscellaneous things as I shop. This time I was speaking with William, an 81 year old man with a sparkling wit. I adore William, and would marry him in a minute if he weren't already married and 81 years old. William is one of those rare men with a marvellous personality that lights up a room. I have never asked what he did for a living, but I assume it somehow involved interracting with the public.

William was rather grim that day, however. Somehow the discussion fell upon the economy (perhaps because there were so few shoppers there). He told me that he and his wife were seriously discussing cutting back and saving. We discussed the reasons for doing so. We also discussed the conundrum Americans as a whole face: Should they be spending or saving instead?

Of course we are told we can't stop spending. The new economic stimulus package which was passed yesterday is created based on the hope that spending will increase with a better tax refund.

On the other hand, some pundits are pointing out that people lose jobs during recessions and depressions and they're recommending that everyone start saving for the potential lay-offs.

What to do?

There are no easy answers right now, but personally I am leaning toward cutting back on spending for now.

Meanwhile, it's fine to give us back some of our money, but it doesn't alter the fact that we're in terrible debt as a nation. Is Congress also going to stop all this horrific spending?! They're spending money like a lottery-winner in a whorehouse. Until they can control themselves, the root of the problem will continue to exist: Trim the tree down to the ground, but you haven't destroyed it until you've uprooted it.


Anonymous said...

As someone who has made some very bad decicions regarding my finances in the past I tend to live a life of much more financial responsibility than many people do. I really believe on only spending money on the things you need or plan for. If I do get an additional rebate check my plan is to stick it in savings. As I have a government job there is not much likelihood I will lose my job but I do believe in having a decent amount of savings and I think our country would be better off if most of the population lived a more financially responsible life.

M@ said...

Ann coulter says the same.

I'm a liberal on nearly every issue but border control. On that issue, the two presumptive minorities (and the three candidates who would become president) wish to open the borders.

What's an American to do? I'm not voting for that McCain either. Screw him. War-monger.

M@ said...

Maybe I'll write in Lou Dobbs.

daveawayfromhome said...

The savings-or-spending conundrum is a toughy. Personally, I say spend half, but more importantly, spend the other half wisely. Dont go out and buy a bunch of crap at Wal-Mart (or anywhere, really, anymore), because that means a big chunk of the money you spend just goes overseas somewhere, doing the country little good. Instead, buy something American-made (if you can find it), or spend it a service of some sort.
Money isnt like food (i.e., you use it and it's gone), you can spend it and it's still there, somewhere. It doesnt just disappear (except from your own wallet). The best way for this money to help the economy is to spend it in ways that allow the people you give it to (for whatever you purchase) to then give it to someone else. While no doubt whatever part of the money you spend that goes to the Walton family rather than China may find its way back into the general money-pool, spending the cash on some locally produced service will assure that a larger chunk of it will continue to flow around in our economy.
Got some car repairs you've been putting off? Finally going to have that patio cover built? Hell, even spending it all on restaurants would be better for the economy than buying a plasma TV. Even if you intend to spend it on food, try spending as much as you can at the local farmer's market. Anything that keeps the money circulating is a good thing.

As for government spending, there's one "easy" way to cut spending, and IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

Glen Beck, talking to a Wall Street Journal type the other day summed up the stimulus package thus; (approximate, not exact quote) "We are going to borrow the money from the Chinese for the stimulus package, and most of the people who actually go out and spend the money will actually spend it on merchandice that was made in China. It sounds like an economic stimulus package for China."
(By the way, if you don't see it, I apologized below for the tone of my last two comments on that post. I was a little ragged at the moments.)

Saur♥Kraut said...

3 Score & 10, I did see your comment, my friend, and thanks! You can see my response there, too. Glenn Beck is my hero - he is only a tad more conservative than I am, and in general, he hits the nail on the head. He is dead right about the economic stimulus package... shouldn't China be underwriting some of this? And, after all, China is funnelling money in Hillary's campaign through Chinese immigrants in the ghettos (even though reporters haven't been able to even locate some of the supposed contributors). There are Chinese immigrants making $12,000 a year and 'contributing' $1000 to Hillary. Yeah, I'm not kidding!

Daveawayfromhome, excellent points as always! It's a delight to see you here again, and thanks for the contribution and the terrifying spending chart. :P

m@, I'm with you: Lou Dobbs for President!!! Now THERE is a guy I'd like to see in that office!

Ange, you're entirely correct! The sad truth is that micro and macroeconomics have many more similarities than differences.

Ed Abbey said...

The only way I can figure out Huckabee staying when there aren't enough delegates left to get him the nomination, it that he hope to fight McCain to a draw where neither have enough delegates and force Romney to make a decision on who he endorses so that his delegates could tip the scales. So technically, Huckabee still has a chance at winning the nomination.